Business News of 2014-04-06

GIPC urges MMDAs to develop ideas for investment

The Ghana Investment Promotion Centre (GIPC) has called on Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies (MMDAs) in the Central Region to develop new investment ideas to promote investment.

Dr. Peter Ankrah, Chief Operating Officer of the GIPC, said the ideas would be screened to attract more investors into the region to facilitate the much needed economic growth.

He was speaking at a day’s sensitisation workshop organised by GIPC in partnership with the Central Regional Development Commission (CEDECOM) and Central Regional Coordinating Council (RCC) for MMDAs to take pragmatic measures for economic development.

Participants were drawn from the MMDAs and entrepreneurs in the various districts who were exposed to the benefits of the new GIPC Act 2013, ACT 865 which mandates the Centre to promote and monitor investment in all sectors of the economy.

It was also to encourage Ghanaian businesses within the region to register with the Centre and take advantage of the incentives provided in the new Investment ACT.

Dr. Ankrah said with the new Act, the minimum equity capital for joint venture was 200,000 dollars with not less than 10 per Ghanaian share and 500,000 dollars for foreign companies.

He said both local and foreign investors may also enjoy tax holidays in areas such as agriculture, real estate development, waste processing of plastic and polythene, and agro processing using mainly agricultural products.

Since the enactment of the law 19 years ago, the GIPC had registered 4,919 projects worth US$32.41 billion, made up of foreign component (29.59 billion) and local component (US$2.82 billion), comprising service sector - 1,430, manufacturing -102, tourism - 421, building and construction - 440, agriculture - 248, general trade - 828, export trade - 226, and liaison offices -254.

Out of the 4919 registered projects, Central Region had 111 which, Dr. Ankrah said, was not encouraging compared to other regions, even though some had less registered projects.

Inaccurate information from project sponsors/promoters, limited knowledge of sponsors on their own projects and lack of negotiation skills were some of the challenges mentioned.

Others included lack of brief company profile, complimentary cards and availability of unencumbered land, he said.

Mr. Enoch Kweku Teye Addo, Central Regional Minister, in a speech read for him, bemoaned the region’s inability to attract the required investment needed to stimulate economic growth and job creation, leading to the high level of unemployment and low standard of living.

He, therefore, commended GIPC for its effort in equipping the indigenous Ghanaian companies to take advantage of the provisions in the Local Content Law which required a foreign investor to cede a minimum of 10 percent share of the local company as partner.

He said Government recognised the private sector as the engine of economic growth and was doing everything possible to create the congenial atmosphere to grow businesses, especially through the Public Private Partnership.

He urged the various assemblies to design an investment plan which could be marketed both locally and internationally to promote investment inflows to the region.

Mr. Spencer Taylor, Executive Director of CEDECOM, enumerated the role the Commission had played in developing the region and mentioned the three key areas it operated as agriculture, tourism and investment promotion.

Osaberima Kwesi Attah II, Omanhen of Oguaa Traditional Area, who chaired the function, appealed to GIPC to establish an office in the region.